Afroasiatic languages

large language family of Africa and West Asia

Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also called Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic[1] or Semito-Hamitic,[2] is a large language family. They are mainly spoken in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and parts of the Sahel.[3] There are around 300 Afroasiatic languages that are still spoken. About 495 million people speak an Afroasiatic language as their first language.[4] There are six branches of the language family: Berber, Chadic, Cushitic, Egyptian, Omotic and Semitic. The most spoken language is Arabic, a Semitic language. It has around 313 million native speakers.[5]

Malta, Horn of Africa, North Africa, Sahel, West Asia
Linguistic classification:One of the world's primary language families
ISO 639-2 and 639-5:afa

Distribution of the Afro-Asiatic languages


  1. Katzner, Kenneth (2002). The Languages of the World. Routledge. p. 27. ISBN 978-1134532889. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  2. Robert Hetzron, "Afroasiatic Languages" in Bernard Comrie, The World's Major Languages, 2009, ISBN 113426156X, p. 545
  3. "Browse by Language Family". Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  4. "Summary by language family". Ethnologue. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  5. "Arabic". Ethnologue. Retrieved 14 April 2018.